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Black History speaker: 'Nation is ready to move racial justice forward’

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Canisius College hosted a civil and human rights leader at its annual Black History Month celebration in downtown Buffalo today. Former NAACP president Benjamin Jealous was the keynote speaker at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. 

“The urgent need for all of us to figure out what is that one big thing we will change about our community, our city, our country, before we die,” said Jealous in a WBFO News interview. His speech is entitled The Secret to Unleashing Inner Greatness.

Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
Former NAACP president Benjamin Jealous appeared in Buffalo

Jealous has successfully led state and local movements that include banning the death penalty and outlawing racial profiling. He tells WBFO News despite deep racial tensions, he does believe the nation is ready to move racial justice forward. 

“People of this country, regardless of region or race or religion continue to more often than not, feel a responsibility to be their brother’s keeper, to be their sister’s keeper and to move our country beyond the legacy of slavery and segregation,” replied Jealous. “And seeing white activists, in a deep southern state, on their feet, sort of cheering with resolve to move racial justice forward, to stop the inexplicable killings of unarmed black men by police across the country, keep getting caught on video -- that’s what gives me hope.”

Jealous is a Rhodes Scholar and was youngest president in NAACP history. Before he served the organization, Jealous spent 15-years as a journalist and community organizer.   

Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
Black History Celebration hosted by Canisius College.

A few hundred Buffalo Public school students attended the speak by Jealous and participated in the celebration. 

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